How do livestock affect the composition and biomass of understorey plants in an area? Does their presence compromise the availability of forage for wild ungulates? How serious is the problem of livestock depredation by large carnivores? How effective are the strategies to alleviate this problem? How do larger scale changes in economy and infrastructure alter livestock rearing practices, and in turn, livestock impacts on wildlife habitat? Answers to these and many other questions are critical to an understanding and the management of livestock presence in Indian wildlife reserves.
This study is an attempt at elucidating the range and complexity of issues involved in understanding the fallouts of livestock presence in Indian wildlife reserves in India. Chapter Two reports observed differences in the composition and biomass of herb and shrub vegetation in two ecologically comparable areas differing in incident pressures of livestock grazing. Chapter Three explores the emerging nexus between subsistence use and commercial markets by presenting a case study of Hangala, a village on the border of Bandipur Tiger Reserve, wherein the system of local subsistence use of livestock dung has forged linkages with faraway commercial dung markets as a cascading effect of India’s changing fortunes in the global coffee trade. Chapter Four presents data on the extent of livestock killing by large carnivores and examines the biological and administrative framework for alleviating conflict between people and parks. During the course of the work, additional data were gathered on the extent of conflict with elephants over crops, as also about measures undertaken by the administration to assuage such conflict.